“If the One Church Plan passes, KUMC would have difficulty in accepting an LGBT bishop assigned to the Korean UMCs due to its cultural and moral traditions,” said the Rev. Paul Chang, executive director of the denomination’s Korean Ministry Plan. “The new definition of marriage also would be something KUMC would be struggling with in the future, too.”
According to a United Methodist News Service article by Thomas Kim, many clergy within the Korean Caucus specifically raised concerns about the One Church Plan during a Dec. 3 meeting at Calvary Korean United Methodist Church in East Brunswick, New Jersey, between five bishops and 25 other church leaders.
The One Church Plan is one of the proposals heading to the special General Conference on Feb. 23-26. It allows congregations to host same-sex weddings, and conferences to ordain openly gay clergy.
Bishop John Schol of the Greater New Jersey Conference made the case for the One Church Plan, which he claimed “gives us an opportunity for all of us to move on and to focus on the mission and on the other greater ministries.”
According to the news report, many of the bishops’ listeners were skeptical.
The Rev. Kwangtae Kim from the Chicago First Korean United Methodist Church asked the bishops whether they are aware of the impact of the One Church Plan upon Korean churches. “Those who want to break a church are using the issue of homosexuality as a good justification for their behaviors,” he said. “The crises that the Korean Presbyterian Church (USA) have now could happen to the KUMC.”
The Rev. Timothy Ahn of Arcola United Methodist Church in Paramus, New Jersey, asked for wisdom and advice from the bishops. “If the One Church Plan is passed, then how should I explain the meaning of a marriage to my congregants as a local church pastor?” he asked.
The Rev. T.J. Kim of Salem Korean United Methodist Church in Schaumburg, Illinois, shared his concern about the plan. “Protecting the family is one of the core values that the Korean church has. Maintaining this value is an important ministry. The One Church Plan can eliminate the foundation on which Korean churches stand.”
Thomas Kim’s entire news article can be read HERE.